Saturday, June 24, 2017
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): This buoy is down and there is no backup site and no date if or when it will return to service. Buoy 233/51211 (Pearl Harbor) is available but has a new frequency layout. We'll have to code a new program to read it's output (date TBD).
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 14.1 secs from 215 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest 8-10 kts. Water temperature 66.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.0 secs from 174 degrees. At Santa Monica (Buoy 028) swell was 2.1 ft @ 15.7 secs from 212 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (Buoy 043) swell was 2.5 ft @ 14.9 secs from 213 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (Buoy 191) swell was 2.6 ft @ 15.5 secs from 215 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 15.0 secs from 198 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest 2-4 kts. Water temp 55.8 degs.
46006, 46059, Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Saturday (6/24) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at waist high and mushed and gutless with almost clean conditions. Protected breaks were thigh high and clean. At Santa Cruz New Zealand swell was hitting producing surf at chest high on most sets with some to head high and clean. In Southern California up north local windswell was hitting producing waves at waist to maybe chest high and pretty warbled though local wind was calm. In North Orange Co New Zealand swell was producing surf at head high to 1 ft overhead but pretty warbled from southerly wind. In South Orange Co New Zealand swell was producing waves at 2 ft overhead and lined up and clean. In San Diego southwest swell was producing surf at chest high and lightly warbled from westerly wind. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with sets waves waist to maybe chest high with some head high peaks on the sets and clean early. The East Shore was getting minimal east windswell with waves thigh to waist high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (6/24) local north windswell was all but gone in North and Central California. Southern hemi swell was the only game hitting mostly California with residuals still impacting Hawaii attributable to a small weather system that developed just east of New Zealand Tues-Wed (6/14) with up to 37 ft seas tracking northeast. Another smaller swell is behind it tracking northeast from a gale that developed under New Zealand on Mon (6/19) with up to 43 ft seas aimed east. Otherwise no swell producing fetch is forecast for the next 7 days.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (6/24) high pressure at 1032 mbs was in the Northern Gulf of Alaska but nowhere near the California or Hawaii coast. Light winds were in control all the North Pacific offering no source for local or distant swell production.
Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast until Tuesday (6/27) when the Gulf high is to move east some and ridging south generating a local fetch of 15 kt east winds at 15 kts extending from 500 nmiles east of Hawaii sweeping over the Islands perhaps starting to producing minimal local easterly windswell along east facing shores. That high is to also start producing northwest winds at 15 kts over North and Central CA later in the afternoon.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (6/24) weak low pressure at 1011 mbs was 500 nmiles off Pt Conception making for a light local winds along the California coast. Sunday (6/25) a northwest flow is to set up for Pt Conception at 15-20 kts but 10 kts or less elsewhere. More of the same through Tuesday but with high pressure at 1030 mbs in the Central Gulf of Alaska starting to ridge east. That high is to impact the coast Wed (6/28) with north winds building to 25 kts over Cape Mendocino and 15-20 kts down to Pt Conception and the Channel Islands with the gradient and north winds building to 30 kts Thurs (6/29) over Cape Mendocino and winds starting to fade along the immediate Central CA coast (10 kts). By Fri (6/30) the gradient is to be isolated to Cape Mendocino-Pt Arena at 30 kts with an eddy flow developing from Bodega Bay southward and holding into Saturday (7/1).
On Saturday AM (6/24) the southern branch of the jet was ridging hard southeast under New Zealand with winds at 120 kts continuing east to the East Pacific then pushing hard north trying to form a pinched trough pushing up to 35S but winds weak in the trough offering almost no support for gale development. East of there the jet again fell hard south again forming a ridge off extreme Southern Chile. The northern branch was tracking east on the 30S latitude line. Over the next 72 hours the ridge in the west is to build east completely cutting of the trough by Sunday (6/25) offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Tues (6/27) a well split zonal flow is to set up with the northern branch tracking east on the 29N latitude line and the southern branch ridging to the south tracking east on the 70S latitude line with virtually no troughs forecast and no support for gale development forecast through early Fri (6/30). On Sat (7/1) there's some indication the southern branch might start pushing northeast over the Southeast Pacific and building to 150 kts offering a hint of support for gale development.
On Saturday (6/24) swell generated from a gale that tracked northeast along the New Zealand Coast was fading out in Hawaii and past it's peak in California (see Second New Zealand Storm below). Another gale developed southeast of New Zealand generating yet another swell that was tracking northeast (see 3rd New Zealand Gale below).
Otherwise no swell producing fetch was occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Second New Zealand Storm
Another gale developed well south of Tasmania on Mon AM (6/12) with 40 kt southwest winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By evening a fetch of 45 kt southwest winds was lifting northeast with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 155E and shadowed by New Zealand for CA and HI. On Tues AM (6/13) the storm was lifting northeast and centered just southeast of New Zealand with winds to 50 kts from the south with seas building from 32 ft at 50S 170E but covering only a small area. On Tues PM (6/13) a small fetch of 45-50 kt south winds is to be pushing north just east of the New Zealand coast with 37 ft seas at 46S 175.5E (221 degs SCal, 220 degs NCal, 201 degs HI). On Wed AM (6/14) fetch was fading from 40 kts off North New Zealand generating 33 ft seas at 40.5S 180W. In the evening south winds were fading from 35 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 37S 175W. This system is to be gone on Thurs AM (6/15).
Possible solid short lived swell for Tahiti given it's close proximity there. A decent pulse of energy is possible for Hawaii too. Lesser energy for the US West Coast given the small fetch size of this system and longer travel distance.
A secondary pulse of low pressure developed just southeast of New Zealand Thurs PM (6/15) with 40-45 kt south winds and seas to 24 ft at 49S 175W. That fetch lifted north Fri AM (6/16) at 35-40 kts aimed due north with seas peaking at 27 ft at 49S 167W. 35 kt south fetch continuing into the evening with barely 28 ft seas at 46S 164S. This system faded out from there. No swell to result expect for Tahiti.
Southern CA: Swell holding on Sat (6/24) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft) early. Swell fading Sunday (6/25) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 222 degrees
North CA: Swell holding on Sat (6/24) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Sunday (6/25) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 220 degrees
3rd New Zealand Gale
On Sun (6/18) a storm started developing southeast of Tasmania with 55 kt west winds and seas building from 35 ft over a tiny area at 54S 150E and shadowed by New Zealand relative to NCal and HI and barely in the 222 degs window for SCal. Winds held at 55 kts from the west on Mon AM (6/19) but with the fetch falling east-southeast with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 166E (214 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 214 degs and unshadowed for NCal, and clear and in the 200 degs window for Hawaii). Fetch was 50 kts in the evening from the southwest and still falling east-southeast with seas to 43 ft at 59.5S 177E aimed east (208 degs NCal and shadowed, 209 degs SCal and barely unshadowed,192 degs HI). On Tues AM (6/20) fetch was fading from 40 kts with seas fading from 37 ft at 61S 171.5W (203 degs NCal and unshadowed, 204 degs SCal and unshadowed, 187 degs HI). This system is to be gone by evening.
This system had solid winds and seas, but was tracking east-southeast with not much momentum aimed northeast, thereby limited swell size traveling in that direction and towards our forecast area.
Hawaii: Minimal background swell to hit starting Sun (6/25) mainly coming up through the Tasman Sea at 1 ft @ 17-18 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building some Mon (6/26) 1.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (6/27) from 1.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 215 degrees.
Southern CA: Swell arrival expected Wed AM (6/28) with period 20 secs and size imperceptible. On Thurs (6/29) swell to build to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (6/30) from 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213 degrees.
Northern CA: Swell arrival expected Wed AM (6/28) with period 20 secs and size imperceptible. On Thurs (6/29) swell to build to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (6/30) from 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.4 ft @ 15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 214 degrees.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours high pressure is to hold together while falling south Wed-Sat (7/1) centered 600 nmiles west of Central CA again producing the usual pressure gradient over Cape Mendocino with north winds 25 kts there and 20 kt north winds reaching south to near Pt Conception though Thurs (6/29) then the gradient becoming isolated to Cape Mendocino Fri (6/30) and building to 30 kts then fading back to 25 kts on Sat (7/1). Windswell building modestly and holding through the period with cleaner conditions in Central CA Friday and beyond.
For Hawaii trades to hold locally over and east of the Islands Wed (6/28) at 15 kts and building some in coverage east of the Islands into Fri (6/30) at 15 kts before starting to fade on Sat (7/1). Minimal east windswell to result along east facing shores.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
ESPI Index Continues a Steep Decline
The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).
Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration and is holding.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Friday (6/23) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral everywhere including the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): No anomalies (positive or negative) were over the KWGA and this pattern is forecast and hold through the end of the 7 day model run (7/1). This suggests a long running Inactive Phase of the MJO/La Nina is dissipating over the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/23 a weak Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was over the far West Pacific. The statistical model depicts it fading in 3 days with no MJO signal in play beyond out 2 weeks. The dynamic model continues to projects the Inactive Phase holding if not rebuilding in the West Pacific for the next 2 weeks.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/24) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak over the West Indian Ocean and is to disintegrate and become incoherent 2 weeks out. The GEFS depicts essentially the same thing but positioned more coherently over the East Indian Ocean through the 2 week period.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/24) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry pattern over the West Pacific tracking slowly east into the Central Pacific through the entire 40 day length of the run 8/3. Basically no MJO pattern is expected for the next month and a half. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (6/24) This model depicts no MJO signal over the KWGA. Neutral if not light west wind anomalies were indicated over the KWGA. Starting 7/2 west anomalies are to be developing a better footprint in the KWGA with a weak Active MJO signal developing over the KWGA holding to 7/20. A weak Inactive signal to develop 7/20-8/3 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA. A legitimate Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 8/4 with building west anomalies moderate to strong in strength holding till 9/21 (end of the model run) even with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO trying to develop in the KWGA. But of note, east anomalies are to be in-play from the dateline and points east of there from 7/22 onward. The west wind anomaly scenario is likely overstated as the model has been teasing at west anomalies for months and yet they never develop. The low pass filter indicates La Nina dissipated as of 6/14. Interestingly the model projects a lowpass La Nina signal is to redevelop 8/20 (previously 7/21) but now only just east of California rather than over the KWGA. Best guess is a very weak directionless pattern is to set up or even a weak La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017. It will take 5 years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/24) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the far West Pacific at 30 degs over a shallow area at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 146W. The 24 deg isotherm no longer reaches Ecuador and dissipates at 99W. But it is 100 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a generic pattern of +1 deg anomalies stretches from the East to West Pacific from 100 meters upward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/17 depicts a continuous stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a Kelvin Wave is in flight towards the East Pacific. The concern remains that there is no real warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (6/17) In the east 5 cm anomalies are fading rapidly in coverage only covering waters of Central America (north of the equator) out to 105W and fading. In the west all warm anomalies have vanished on the equator. Effectively a dead neutral pattern is in control of the entire equatorial Pacific.
Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (6/23) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a near neutral to barely warm pattern offset from the immediate South American coast building in heat content from 120W westward. One small pocket of warm water was present along Ecuador and another at 103W, remnants of a warm event previously along South America and advecting west. Upwelling along the immediate coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador is present but weaker today as compared to days past. Overall temps are cooling off South America out to 120W (2,400 nmiles off the coast). The La Nina that developed last Spring is gone and an El Nino like pattern that was trying to build after it during March-May is dissipating with a neutral pattern if not slightly cool pattern setting up off Central America down to Peru.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/23): A neutral to weak cooling trend is in control of the coast of Chile and Peru. Alternating pockets of warming and cooling are present on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 120W, the likely fading remnants of warming previous along Peru. A strong warming trend continues in the Northern Hemi from California pushing north of Hawaii and reaching west to the Philippines. But overall nothing remarkable is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (6/23) A weak warm regime holds from Chile north to Ecuador and west to 140W then stronger to 140E. But it looks like a neutral temperature regime is trying to set up off South America. Pockets of cool anomalies are in the far East Pacific off Ecuador, Peru and Chile out to 120W. Overall waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal. Suspect climatology needs to be updated to reflect this new reality, or the recent Super El Nino has significantly redistributed heat across the oceans.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/24) Today's temps were falling from +0.047, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2..
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/24) temps were steady at +0.502 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/24) The forecast has temps steady at +0.55 degs today and holding for 1 more week then starting to fall, dropping to +0.25 in early Aug and holding till early No, then dropping to +0.0 in Jan 2018, perhaps warming to +0.2 degs in March. This suggests a neutral pattern setting up for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (6/20) still suggests a Modoki style warming pattern over the dateline this Fall and Winter but other models are no suggesting a return of a weak La Nina pattern. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading. Much recharging and heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-June Plume updated (6/15) depicts temps have warmed to +0.3 degs. Temps are forecast to hold at this level for the coming 8 months suggesting a neutral pattern in control. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts the same thing with temp +0.3 degrees above normal through Feb.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/21): The daily index was rising at -1.62 and has been negative for 21 days. The 30 day average was falling at -4.63. The 90 day average was falling at -4.06 or just south of neutral. This suggests a return to ENSO neutral conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (6/24) Today's value was falling hard at -2.12 or trending strongly towards La Nina. A peak low was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94, the deepest of the past La Nina event. So the index is currently more negative than at the peak of last years La Nina. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.03, March = +0.09, April=+0.52, May=+0.36. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table